Pig genetics company predicts increase in sales

A UK pig genetic company expects sales of its AC1 gilt and grandparent stock to rise when the European sow stall ban comes into force next year.

According to the Yorkshire-based ACMC, the breed is well-suited to group housing because of its calm temperament.

Managing director of ACMC Matthew Curtis said that when the UK banned sow stalls more than a decade ago, British producers had problems adapting to the new system because of fighting and bullying amongst pigs.

However, the AC1 gilt had been found to mix better in group systems than traditional breeds and suffers less with stress, which reduces foetal deaths and abortions.

“It has been found that the quiet temperament of the AC1 gilt — which contains genes from the docile and prolific Chinese Meishan breed — means it is well adapted to this system,” said Curtis.

He added that pig producers will now be looking at selecting pigs for their behavioural qualities as well as their meat traits. He said: “Less aggressive finishing pigs convert their feed better because their energy is diverted to growth rather than fighting.”